Hypoglycemia and Low Blood Sugar | Symptoms and Causes

What are the symptoms of hypoglycemia?

While each child may experience symptoms of hypoglycemia differently, the most common include:

  • shakiness
  • dizziness
  • sweating
  • hunger
  • headache
  • irritability
  • pale skin color
  • sudden moodiness or behavior changes, such as crying for no apparent reason
  • clumsy or jerky movements
  • difficulty paying attention or confusion

What causes hypoglycemia?

The vast majority of episodes of hypoglycemia in children and adolescents occur when a child with diabetes takes too much insulin, eats too little, or exercises strenuously or for a prolonged period of time.

For young children who do not have diabetes, hypoglycemia may be caused by:

Single episodes:

  • Stomach flu, or another illness that may cause them to not eat enough
  • fasting for a prolonged period of time
  • prolonged strenuous exercise and lack of food

Recurrent episodes:

  • accelerated starvation, also known as “ketotic hypoglycemia,” a tendency for children without diabetes, or any other known cause of hypoglycemia, to experience repeated hypoglycemic episodes.
  • medications your child may be taking
  •  a congenital (present at birth) error in metabolism or unusual disorder such as hypopituitarism or hyperinsulinism.